Ron Paul: Seeking Total Security Leads to a Totalitarian Society

by Ron Paul

The senseless and horrific killings last week in Newtown, Connecticut reminded us that a determined individual or group of individuals can cause great harm no matter what laws are in place.  Connecticut already has restrictive gun laws relative to other states, including restrictions on fully automatic, so-called “assault” rifles and gun-free zones.

Predictably, the political left responded to the tragedy with emotional calls for increased gun control.  This is understandable, but misguided. The impulse to have government “do something” to protect us in the wake national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned.  Many Americans believe that if we simply pass the right laws, future horrors like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting can be prevented.  But this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don’t obey laws.

The political right, unfortunately, has fallen into the same trap in its calls for quick legislative solutions to gun violence.  If only we put armed police or armed teachers in schools, we’re told, would-be school shooters will be dissuaded or stopped.

While I certainly agree that more guns equals less crime and that private gun ownership prevents many shootings, I don’t agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence.  Real change can happen only when we commit ourselves to rebuilding civil society in America, meaning a society based on family, religion, civic and social institutions, and peaceful cooperation through markets.  We cannot reverse decades of moral and intellectual decline by snapping our fingers and passing laws.

Let’s not forget that our own government policies often undermine civil society, cheapen life, and encourage immorality.  The president and other government officials denounce school violence, yet still advocate for endless undeclared wars abroad and easy abortion at home.  U.S. drone strikes kill thousands, but nobody in America holds vigils or devotes much news coverage to those victims, many of which are children, albeit, of a different color.

Obviously I don’t want to conflate complex issues of foreign policy and war with the Sandy Hook shooting, but it is important to make the broader point that our federal government has zero moral authority to legislate against violence.

Furthermore, do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners, and warrantless physical searches?  We see this culture in our airports: witness the shabby spectacle of once proud, happy Americans shuffling through long lines while uniformed TSA agents bark orders.  This is the world of government provided “security,” a world far too many Americans now seem to accept or even endorse.  School shootings, no matter how horrific, do not justify creating an Orwellian surveillance state in America.

Do we really believe government can provide total security?  Do we want to involuntarily commit every disaffected, disturbed, or alienated person who fantasizes about violence?  Or can we accept that liberty is more important than the illusion of state-provided security? Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place.  Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives.  We shouldn’t settle for substituting one type of violence for another. Government role is to protect liberty, not to pursue unobtainable safety.

Our freedoms as Americans preceded gun control laws, the TSA, or the Department of Homeland Security.  Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference, not by safety. It is easy to clamor for government security when terrible things happen; but liberty is given true meaning when we support it without exception, and we will be safer for it.


  • Thomas Paine of our time!

  • VERY IMPORTANT !!!! Search “Robbie Parker hoax” . He was having a good time at the interview hours AFTER his daughter Emmilie Parker was killed….

  • besides, it’s not “More guns equals less crime”…it’s “More willing, legal, and responsible firearm ownership and a desire to protect liberty equals less crime.”

  • Mr. Paul, you will be a true icon for eons! I pray that out of the millions who supported your cause, OUR cause, that genuine public servants, with libertarian philosophy can be elected to positions of authority to REVERSE much of the perverse gov’ment we now know…

  • Sign up to the idea then of looking at fact. Look at the crime rates of countries like Switzerland, where every household has a firearm.

  • History disagrees though, look up the gun ban in Britain, they banned ALL guns and melted them down and or crushed them all. 10 years since the ban gun violence has increased 89%! And Switzerland where every citizen is required to keep an assault rifle has a gun crime rate WAY less then the us and most other countries! Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the US and they had 500 murders this year alone. It’s fascinating to research if you have the time, that more guns does = less crime.

  • I’m sorry I just cannot sign up to the idea that more guns = less crime. Issues about liberties aside, the fact is that there is something wrong badly wrong with America if the fact that there are so many guns in circulation ISN’T the reason for such a high gun homicide rate. However I think the only way any ban will be truly effective would be to have a total amnesty of firearms and start over from there and I think we all know that Americans aren’t going to hand over their precious weapons.

  • My thoughts on gun laws:

    The second amendment was not an act of folly; an armed population can protect itself from a totalitarian state, it makes people equal, and is the foundation of democracy, and if you look at the exact text of the amendment it discourages war by discouraging a standing army; the millitia, meaning an assembled group of normal citizens, becomes an army only temporarily and then disperses

  • A jew try to kill me and i chop off the tip of his penis…lmao…circumcise..Cutting off American.we the JEWs.

  • What other presidential candidate will continue to stay in close contact with his supporters long after their campaigns have stopped? Ron Paul is a great man.

  • the solution to Governemnt is GOIN the goverment..Hello,WHERE IS RON :-PooooP sitting? on the thorn (toilet) shitting on you. You all slave. I shit over there,now go look and make a report and investigate,persecute and incarcerate is what will become of you. u r a citizen,so u marainate in shit for Pon :-Pooop…now i`m band. Only Jews are Killer.

  • Once all the fedrats are dead.Then American and American can buy Xerox copy machine to counterfeit God and go global shopping.Oh wait,the foreigner are doing this right now. WHO IS AMERICAN..Dead rat = Democrat.

  • Please sign the petition to stop Executive Orders. Obama may use an executive order to ban weapons. Please thumbs up.

    wh dot gov/Q9BG

  • O

  • O>O

  • What a BOSS.

  • Vote for the center,cause left and right is racism ,so vote for the center is the “asshole”.thank you sweet cheeks..lmao. Rape u later.

  • for president in 2016 if your still alive

  • The last time I had an assault rifle, I was called Corporal. I have sporting rifles now. If in this day and age of information I have to personally explain this to people, it is safe to assume that they will never learn.

  • Why oh WHY did this man not become president??? 300 million+ Americans annd you still fall for the TV BS LIES! wake up people you can take your country back from the banking/media/politics(joo OWNED) and show the world a way!